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Your Safety Guide for a Stress-Free Period

So, you’ve found the perfect bedding and perfect roommate, right? But have you thought about the perfect plan for your period? Whether you have early morning soccer practice, orientation activities or you’re just running around campus, insuring you have the right products on hand for any situation is crucial—and easy to do!

There has never been more choices commonly available for you to pick from. Tampons, pads, menstrual cups, period underwear or any combination of these, or whether you prefer organic or the best option for the environment, there is a lot of options to consider. And a lot of women find that, depending on what phase of their period they’re in or their activities, the product that works best for them can change.

No matter what you choose, the following guidance will help you use these products safely:

  1. When using tampons, your goal should be to use the lowest absorbency that allows you to avoid leaks and remove the tampon comfortably after 4-8 hours of use. Your flow changes from day to day, and many brands offer multiple absorbencies to mix and match (some even offer a multipack) to make choosing the optimal size for your flow easier. If you leak or spot, go up a size, and if the tampon is hard to remove, go down an absorbency. This guidance is key to not only making your tampon more comfortable and eliminating leaks, but also in helping you minimize the risk of the rare but serious disease, toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Even though the annual incidence rate of TSS in women of menstrual age in the United States is very low at about one case per 100,000 women, all women using tampons need to make sure they understand the information in the package insert and the signs and symptoms of TSS. This includes ALL tampons regardless of composition or absorbency.
  2. TSS has also been associated with the use of other intra-vaginal products, including menstrual cups, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges. Don’t be misled into thinking TSS is only associated with tampon use.
  3. Be alert to signs and symptoms of TSS. If you are using tampons or menstrual cups and start to feel sick, see a doctor immediately and tell her you think you might have TSS.

Symptoms include (note: you don’t need to have all of these):

  • Onset of flu-like symptoms such as fever (102°F)
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Sunburn-like rash
  • Dizziness, muscle aches
  • Fainting/near fainting when standing up

4. Do not use a tampon or menstrual cup for non-menstrual vaginal discharge. Pads and liners are a safer choice.

  1. Wash hands before and after changing any menstrual product. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria that can cause disease.
  2. Do not flush used tampons, applicators and pads down the toilet. Always wrap these up in toilet paper like a “mummy” and dispose of them in the trash or product receptacles commonly found inside public restroom stalls.
  3. Sterilize menstrual cups between each use to reduce the opportunity for growth of potentially harmful bacteria.

We hope you find this guidance helpful as you choose the right product, or products, for your lifestyle. As with everything else in college, if you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask questions! And don’t let myths or on-line information you’re not sure about hold you back from living an active and confident lifestyle. Knowledge is power.

For more information on these issues and more, visit femcareanswers.com!

Track Your Cycle!

Your menstrual cycle is a direct indicator of your overall health, and periods are your body’s way of telling you that things are working as they should. Having an extremely irregular or heavy period can indicate an existing underlying condition. By tracking and logging various details of your cycle, you will be able to recall things that you will might otherwise forget when speaking with your doctor. There are plenty of online tools and apps out there to use!


When Your College Student’s Necessity Becomes the Mother of Your Invention!

Our daughter’s departure to college came with mixed emotions. While we were excited for her to begin the next chapter of her life, there were also many “unknowns” that we were nervous about.

One of the “unknowns” gave us an idea that led to the start of a small business. It turned out that our daughter had a roommate that did not feel the need to lock, or at times even close doors when she would leave. So, when she moved into my daughter’s dorm room this propensity to not secure the room immediately created tension.  Like many college freshmen, my daughter had just purchased a new laptop and was worried about losing it as well as some of her other valuables because far too many times she would come back to an unlocked door.

After trying to remedy the situation with her roommate and having no success, she would call us expressing her frustration that the situation was not getting any better. Darla and I decided that our daughter needed a secure storage solution. We realized that any viable solution must:

  • Be easy to access and lock automatically. Accessibility was essential for keeping her medications in it
  • Be large enough for her laptop, some of her expensive textbooks, and maybe even a purse
  • Not take any desk space or floor space, because her dorm room had none to spare
  • Have an appealing exterior; this was going in a girl’s dorm room after all
  • Not require screws or bolts, because the college would only allow command strips for hanging, mounting, or attaching anything to college property/furniture
  • Be easy to install without tools because she would be the only one setting it up

So, after considering the requirements and the space available, we realized the space above her feet was the only place in her dorm room that could be considered available to use. It was not a shared area, she had full control of this small space, and it was very close to where she would spend lots of time. We also knew it would work on both the top and bottom bunk in the event that her bed location changed.

Thus, the BunkTrunk™ was born.

After a few revisions, driven by our daughter’s experience with early prototypes, we finalized a design that is functional, accessible and secure.

We added a few accessories so she could get the most out of her BunkTrunk™. She needed a power strip with USB outlets for charging her phone, laptop, and other items. We added a dimmable USB light so she wouldn’t bother others when she studied late. We also added a Bluetooth speaker so that she and her roommates could watch movies together.

With her laptop and phone locked up while charging inside, she felt much better about her dorm situation. She also found that, with the door to her BunkTrunk™ opened, it made an impromptu work surface.  Whenever she needed to study late into the night and didn’t want to bother her roommates by studying at her desk with the light on, she was able to study in her bed.

Because she was on the top bunk and she didn’t have a nightstand next to her, she used her BunkTrunk™ as a nightstand too!

After we solved her dorm problem, we soon realized that she was not alone in her desire to secure her valuables. Other college students could also benefit from the BunkTrunk™. What started in 2015 as a simple answer to our daughter’s need evolved into a family business, selling BunkTrunk™’s to over 20 colleges in the Summer of 2016. And the growth hasn’t stopped there.

As of August 2019, not only have we shipped over 1,000 units to more than 30 states, but the U.S. Patent Office also granted us our patent!

It turns out that the saying is true, necessity really is the mother of invention, and, in our case, it led to a new small business too!

Check out bunktrunk.com for more information.